Photo of people using sign language

Deaf Access Program

The Deaf Access Program (DAP) was created in 1980 to ensure that California’s public programs are adapted to meet the communication needs of deaf and hard of hearing children, adults, and families so they may receive the public benefits and services to which they are entitled and achieve economic independence to fully participate in mainstream society.

Service Delivery and Locations

Services are provided by eight contracted private non-profit charitable corporations with several outreach offices. For the DAP provider nearest you, click here for a copy of the DAP map, DAP Headquarters Contact List and Sign Language Interpreter Service Information.

Communication Services: Provides qualified sign language interpreters to meet the needs of a client or agency. Also includes providing emergency 24-hour, 7-day a week sign language services to meet medical, legal, or civil emergencies. In addition, provides translation of documents for deaf clients with low language skills;

Advocacy Services: Provides assistance in crisis situations by intervening to ensure all public services – including social, health, and safety services are available to the deaf and hard of hearing population. Also includes intervention to protect deaf children’s communication rights;

Job Development and Placement: Assists deaf clients in obtaining employment related services;

Information and Referra: Directs clients to appropriate organizations and programs for social and health care needs. Answers questions about deafness and hearing loss;

Counseling: Provides intervention in crisis situations, such as spousal, child or adult abuse. Also teaches clients how to effectively cope with deafness or hearing loss;

Independent Living Skills Instruction: Assists deaf clients in acquiring skills to live independent of public institutions and programs; and

Community Education: Increases public awareness and understanding of deaf and hard of hearing people’s needs. Also, addresses health and safety issues related to deafness.

Program Oversight

The California Department of Social Services’ Office of Deaf Access is responsible for administering and monitoring the DAP Program.

DAP Manual


  • Services are available statewide via 8 regional non-profit organizations.
  • $5.2 million in services are paid annually.
  • The DAP has no eligibility requirements other than a demonstrated need for services.
  • The DAP is a program “of, by and for” deaf and hard of hearing people.

Contact Us

Office of Deaf Access
(916) 653-8320 (Voice)
(916) 330-3242 (Videophone)
You may also email us at: